Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Health Care Reform Proposal

I gave a speech last week at my toastmaster's meeting about the Health Care Reform proposal to pay doctors every five years for one hour of consultation around end of life issues such as "advanced directives", services provided by Hospice and what a health care proxy is. This service is completely voluntary and all decisions are made by the patient. I had a very positive experience with hospice when my mother was dying. This proposal has been misconstrued by special interests as something they call "death panels".
I guess this is a hot button issue and some people are convinced that health care reform automatically implies long waits, limited care and people dying. One woman in my club thought the so called "death panels" were related to Nazi death camps. Another member said that we would have to wait 6 months to get an MRI. Does that imply that the MRI machines will suddenly lie idle growing moss? A friend of mine pointed out that if all the people who currently do not get health care were suddenly getting it- then we would all be in competition to use those MRI machines and see specialists. OK- that's an explanation I never considered. Food for thought about how Americans might feel about each other.

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